As with so much of the energy market, gas is in transition and there is a fierce ongoing debate about how best to restructure and manage the arrangements for exploration, development and delivery.
Key to a satisfactory approach is the treatment of unconventional gas – supply from coal seams and shale rather than traditional sandstone reservoirs. Forty per cent of the gas produced on the east coast and 90 per cent of the region’s resources are unconventional.
The upstream petroleum industry is agitating strongly for the gas management framework to be considered as a whole and not treated piecemeal depending on political circumstances. The Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA) declares that “the biggest risk to a sustainable east coast gas market is regulatory failure”.